The Chimney

by Jeremy Doyle

Jeremy heads IDLS and is passionate about poverty and our global energy challenge.  In the past he worked in Guyana and Mozambique and now works with government and non-government organisations on clean energy to tackle poverty and address climate change.  He likes playing the piano, cycling and tennis.

Early evening. We are in the kitchen, kids guzzling their food. Our 7-year old son grabs some green grapes and stuffs them all into his mouth.  On cue, 4 year-old Anne explodes: “Not fair!!” Her share now seems small, due to the dribbling smirk opposite.

Grapes in winter, I think, distracted.  Picked easily from a well-lit supermarket shelf. Our species has never had it so damned good.

Once the grape argument has burnt out, we return the subject of Santa Claus.  He’ll be coming down the chimney tonight, quickly, neatly. He’ll carry enough presents for all children.  He’s checked his list.

I peer at their eyes, which are glazed, looking up and into the middle distance.  Visual thinkers and not a flicker of doubt.  Coca Cola red suit, bearded, jolly and obese.   The images are streaming through their fast-growing neurones.

“How does he know where the stockings are?” squeaks our youngest. 

“Oh he just knows absolutely everything.  Don’t worry, he’ll find them alright” says Mummy.

We hang the stockings. They give them a long happy look.

 “Can he shrink to get down the chimney then grow again?”  Our son looks worried.

“Yes, maybe, I don’t know.” I reply

This will be the last Santa lie.  Until tomorrow morning.